The biggest myth in the NFL is that Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league.
It simply isn’t true anymore.
In no way is this an attempt to ignore or downplay the start of his NFL career. After his second full year with the Kansas City Chiefs, he had a league MVP and had won a Super Bowl.
But in the here and now, there are at least four other quarterbacks in the AFC, forget the whole NFL, that are playing the position better and you rather have them under center than Mahomes.
You might want to start with Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson, who engineered an epic comeback against the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night.
At one point in the third quarter, the Ravens were down, 22-3. But Jackson produced a career-best in passing yards with 442 yards. He also threw four touchdowns and no picks and completed a ridiculous 86 percent of his passes. A few weeks ago, he also stormed back and shocked the Chiefs late for an improbable victory.
You would take Buffalo’s Josh Allen, whose team has outscored the competition 156-41 in the last four games. And we can’t forget the Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert, who is coming off a five-touchdown performance to beat the Cleveland Browns. In his last three games, Herbert has thrown 11 TDs with no picks.
Right now, these guys are playing better than Mahomes.
And this isn’t just a hot take or an eye test thing. The numbers tell you the same.
On Sunday, in the primetime matchup everyone wanted to see — a rematch of the AFC Championship against the Buffalo Bills in Kansas City — Mahomes and the Chiefs were steamrolled, 38-20.
It was no shock that Buffalo put up points. The Bills have a high-powered offense and the Chiefs’ defense is pretty lame.
Still, Mahomes played poorly in the big game.
Mahomes accounted for three of the Chiefs’ four turnovers (two interceptions and a lost fumble). He has played just five games this year and already has thrown as many interceptions as he did all of last season (six) and one more interception than he had in all of 2019 (five).
Mahomes is currently on pace for 20 INTs; his career-high is 12 in 2018.
Worse, Mahomes has now thrown 13 INTs and his last 14 games, including the postseason.
It’s not an abbreviation. It’s actually been a trend. Mahomes is careless with the football, tries to be too cute and it has finally caught up to him.
“It starts with me,” Mahomes told the media after the game. “It’s something I’ve not usually done in my career, but I have to reevaluate where I am at, what decisions I’m making.
“I’ve been a crazier player as far as scrambling and making throws. But in my career, I’ve never been someone who throws a lot of interceptions. I have to look at it now, reevaluate what I’m doing and I have to cut it out.”
Early on in his career, Mahomes threw a lot of risky passes, some that were dropped and not caught by the defense. In fact, last season, Mahomes finished second in big-time throws (50), but also ended the year in the top three in turnover-worthy plays (23). But he only had eight actual turnovers last season.
It appears as if his risky play has caught up to him. It’s hard to win when you turn the ball over a lot. In fact, the Chiefs are tied with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the most turnovers in the NFL with 11.
For sure, many will simply want to blame it all on the defense. That’s too easy. Plus, when the quarterback turns the ball over, often it puts the defense in a bad spot and many times leads to the other team scoring.
There hasn’t been a permanent changing of the guard for the title of best QB, but former NFL player, scout, and current NFL Network analyst Bucky Brooks said he’d take Herbert if he could pick a quarterback right now. “I don’t know who is playing better than Justin Herbert,” he said. “I really don’t.”
Two years ago, the idea that anybody in football would look past Mahomes and at another quarterback would have been ludicrous.
Not anymore. Mahomes just isn’t the best quarterback now. Face it.